The Empire Strikes Again: Declares War on Teens

The Empire, err Trade Federation (RIAA), is at it again. This time they are sending their troops of layers to get the 14 year old Brittany Chan. After a judge ruled that Brittany’s mother was not to be held accountable, the Empire is now attempting to force the state to assign Brittany a legal guardian to represent her in court. The Empire claims that Brittany used the family computer to download and distribute some 829 MP3s on an unnamed peer-2-peer network.

The legitimacy of the Empire is diminishing and the true qualities of its monopoly are becoming evident. A good question for the Empire is whether or not a trade federation is allowed to act on behalf of its members and sue its potential customers? When a company becomes out of touch with its customers, usually the company goes bankrupt. However, when the ‘individual’ companies band together to form an Empire, they become the sole provider of content to their market. And, therefore enjoy a monopoly over their content’s market. Once the Empire is the sole provider of content, it goes around and marauds its customers and gets away with it.

What happened to the customer is all ways right? The customer no longer has a choice, that is what happened. Competition is good for the customer; monopolies are bad, especially informal monopolies.

-John Havlik

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The Time Has Come: AoE3 Coming Soon!

Finally, a sequel to the Age of Empires series from Ensemble Studios. The eye candy spin-off, Age of Mythology, was cool, but it was not Age of Empires—it did look oh-so-cool graphics wise and was fun to play, but AoM has a limit to the number of towers and ‘castle’ structures that you can build and you can’t build a town center just anywhere on the map as in AoE.

The biggest problem with AoE II is that its graphics are dated to say the least. Plus some features didn’t make the final cut due to system requirements, this time they seem to have done it right. Supposedly, you’ll need a 1.4 GHz processor with 256MB ram and 64mb vram, plus hard drive space and etc. The demo is available right now at ageofempires3.com

-John Havlik

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Gentoo 2005.1 Yippy!

Gentoo 2005.1 was released earlier this week and for the first time the Gentoo Linux project has a true livecd. In this livecd (which is still a ‘beta’ level release.) a Gentoo environment loads with X and the Gnome interface. Along with the Gnome environment there is a gtk based installer included in with the livecd and is fully functional within the Gnome environment, allowing an semi automated installation while still word processing and or web browsing, which in the windowed mode helps getting the required information for the installer, yes it was possible before but this is so much cooler.

The gimp is being well, a gimp on my computer. It has a problem that when it is instructed to create a new file it will ‘crash’ well at least Windows thinks it has crashed and comes up with the ‘this program has crashed, windows killed it, tell Microsoft about it’ dialogue. This is strange because I can open existing files and do all the manipulation that I want, but the second I go to make a new file, *bam*, the stupid MS dialogue pops up and kills the gimp.

-John Havlik

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Microsoft gives the ‘ok’ to kill legacy input devices

According to the latest Longhorn requirements, keyboards and mice must not connect to the pc via PS/2 or Serial ports, and the BIOS must automatically support USB keyboards and mice. The document has some more interesting information. All monitors will have to be at the 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratios, and connect to the PC via DVI rather than d-sub. The 32bit system BIOS will have to support frame buffers of over 256MB for graphics accelerators, and a 64bit system BIOS will have to support at least 4GB dedicated RAM for graphic accelerators. USB 2.0 ports, and several of them, including a manditory 2 in the front make the list, along with manditory DVD Burners, S/PDIF out with support for 7.1 channels, and Gigabit ethernet, or 802.11 g/a support.

DEV-INP-02 New! Physically removable keyboards and mice connect to the PC by means other than PS/2 or the Serial (RS232) port
Externally attached (that is, physically removable) keyboards and mice must not use PS/2 or Serial (RS232) port for connectivity with the PC.

There is no decision for minimum CPU or memory, but I’m guessing a 32bit system will have to have a 3Ghz processor and 4GB DDR2 ram. 64bit systems will have to be at least a dual core 2.8Ghz chip with at least ~6GB of DDR2 memory. These are my estimates for a desktop pc, for a laptop, a Pentium M compatible, 2GHz ish processor (Dual core will probably required also) with about 2GB memory.

Longhorn better be something spectacular if all this stuff that MS is pushing for is actually needed.

-John Havlik

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Apple Makes the Switch

To what? To Intel/x86 based CPUs. Within 2 years, Apple will have completely dumped the IBM/Motorola PowerPC chip architecture. I though they (Apple) are evil. They were, but now they aren’t. Why? With Apple now using Intel chips, Intel will have to become more creative and actually produce much better chips than what they have been producing. Besides, Apple does have a better sense of design than Dell.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]